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1. Equality and Diversity, Bullying and Harassment Code of Practice

Foreword

Work Better Now aims to offer a service to our clients that will create a significant positive impact on their business and their lives, and to be the employer of choice for top talent located in Latin America and the Caribbean by providing them with impactful work opportunities.

Work Better Now is determined that the Equality and Diversity Policies, underpinned by its supporting policies, shall have a major impact on all aspects of the life of Work Better Now VAs and staff and be a demonstration of its commitment to meeting these responsibilities in full.

We recognize that we need such Policies within which Work Better Now’s intention can be clearly stated. The framework is explicit in defining how Work Better Now intends to implement the Policies and emphasizes the responsibility of all staff and VAs to ensure that both its letter and spirit are integrated into the daily life of Work Better Now.

We look to all staff and Virtual Assistants to understand and interpret how these Policies affect their own role and how they will contribute to the Policies’ success.

Andrew Cohen

CEO Work Better Now

Equality and Diversity Policy – Overview

1. Introduction and Context

1.1  The management, staff and Virtual Assistants of Work Better Now are committed to developing a community which continually strives to achieve equality of opportunity. Work Better Now aims to promote good relations among its clients, staff and Virtual Assistants and to create a learning environment within which all members of the community can fully realize their individual potential.

1.2  Work Better Now wishes to ensure that all staff and Virtual Assistants work in a climate free from unfair treatment, harassment, or abusive behavior. Work Better Now recognizes that discrimination can manifest itself in different ways and that its effect is destructive both to those who experience it and to those who cause it.

2. Diversity

2.1 Work Better Now will encourage all staff and Virtual Assistants to recognize, value and reflect positively the contributions of individuals of different social backgrounds, cultures, religions, abilities, and ages. Through training they will be encouraged to see diversity as a strength and something that adds value to Work Better Now. Staff and Virtual Assistants must be made to feel that their culture is respected within Work Better Now. Our core statements about diversity are that Work Better Now will:

2.1.1  Work towards supporting flexible working for those with particular needs or circumstances where this is appropriate

2.1.2  Aim to enhance competitiveness by attracting competent members of staff and Virtual assistants who understand the needs of their clients and respect and value diversity

2.1.3  Work Better Now accepts that its workforce and Virtual Assistants consist of a diverse population of people. Work Better Now will make every effort to harness these differences, thus creating an environment in which all staff and Virtual Assistants feel valued, where their talents are fully utilized, and in which organizational goals are met

3. Responsibilities

3.1 All members of Work Better Now staff, Virtual Assistants, clients and vendors, will be responsible for their actions. It is the duty of all members of staff and every Virtual Assistant to avoid discriminatory practices and to actively discourage others who may engage in discriminatory activities.

3.2. All staff and Virtual Assistants are responsible for ensuring that at no time do any of their actions or omissions constitute an act of discrimination, harassment, or victimization. Individuals may be held personally accountable via Work Better Now’s Grievance and Disciplinary Policies and Procedures.

4. Responding to Feedback / Complaints

4.1  Work Better Now will respond positively to constructive criticism and to any complaint that relates to harassment, discrimination, and equality of opportunity.

4.2  Work Better Now will seek to provide a supportive environment for those who wish to make complaints of harassment and discrimination.

4.3  Work Better Now has a Complaints procedure for Virtual Assistants and a Grievance procedure for staff that apply to those complaints that occur in relation to this policy and that cannot be resolved informally.

5. Race Equality

5.1 Work Better Now is committed to promoting race equality and tackling race discrimination. This policy is a fundamental part of that commitment. Through its implementation Work Better Now aims to ensure that the promotion of good race relations and the elimination of race discrimination continues to remain central to its activities and permeates its ethos.

6. Gender

6.1 Work Better Now is committed to gender equality and eliminating sex discrimination.

6.2  Direct sex discrimination occurs where a person is treated less favorably, because of gender, than another person would be in similar circumstances. This type of behavior can occur because of the individual’s gender, the individual’s perceived gender or the individual’s association with a particular gender.

6.3  Indirect sex discrimination can occur where a requirement or condition applied equally to men and women discriminates indirectly because the proportion of one sex which can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of the other sex which can comply with it; the rule is to their disadvantage; and the condition or rule cannot be justified on grounds unrelated to gender. All three conditions must apply.

7. Sexual Orientation

7.1  Work Better Now is committed to sexual orientation equality and eliminating

sexual orientation discrimination.

7.2  Direct sexual orientation Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than another person would be in similar circumstances because of sexual orientation. This type of behavior can occur because of the individual’s sexual orientation, the individual’s perceived sexual orientation or the individual’s association with a particular sexual orientation.

7.3  Indirect sexual orientation discrimination can occur where a requirement or condition applied equally to those of different sexual orientation discriminates indirectly because the proportion of one sexual orientation which can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of the other sexual orientation which can comply with it; the rule is to their disadvantage; and the condition or rule cannot be justified on grounds unrelated to sexual orientation. All three conditions must apply.

8. Age

8.1 Work Better Now prohibit discrimination and harassment on the grounds of age in recruitment, employment, termination of employment and post- employment. All individuals whether younger or older are protected against unlawful age discrimination.

9. Religion or Belief

9.1  Work Better Now is committed to religion and belief equality and eliminating

discrimination because of religion or belief.

9.2  Direct religion or belief Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than another person would be in similar circumstances because of religion or belief. This type of behavior can occur because of the individual’s religion or belief, the individual’s perceived religion or belief or the individual’s association with a person of a particular religion or belief.

9.3  Indirect discrimination can occur where a requirement or condition applied equally to all staff and students discriminates indirectly because the proportion of individuals with that religion or belief that can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of individuals without that that religion or belief who can comply; the rule is to their disadvantage; and the condition or rule cannot be justified on grounds unrelated to religion or belief. All three conditions must apply.

10. Marriage and Civil Partnership

10.1  Work Better Now is committed to marriage and civil partnership equality and

eliminating discrimination because of marriage or civil partnership.

10.2  Direct marriage or civil partnership discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably because they are married or in a civil partnership than a person of a different marital or civil status would be in similar circumstances.

10.3  Indirect discrimination can occur where a requirement or condition applied equally to all staff and virtual assistants discriminates indirectly because the proportion of individuals who are married or in a civil partnership that can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of individuals who are not married or in a civil partnership who can comply; the rule is to their disadvantage; and the condition or rule cannot be justified on grounds unrelated to marriage or civil partnership. All three conditions must apply.

11. Gender Re-Assignment

11.1  Work Better Now is committed to gender re-assignment equality and

eliminating discrimination because of gender re-assignment.

11.2  Direct gender re-assignment Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than another person would be in similar circumstances because of gender reassignment. This type of behavior can occur because of the individual’s gender re-assignment, the individual’s perceived gender re- assignment or the individual’s association with a person who has undergone or is proposing to undergo gender re-assignment.

11.3  Indirect discrimination can occur where a requirement or condition applied equally to all staff and students discriminates indirectly because the proportion of individuals who have undergone gender reassignment (or are proposing to do so) that can comply with it is much smaller than the proportion of individuals without that protected characteristic who can comply; the rule is to their disadvantage; and the condition or rule cannot be justified on grounds unrelated to gender reassignment. All three conditions must apply.

12. Bullying and Harassment Code of Practice

12.1 Introduction

Work Better Now wishes to create and maintain a learning environment where every individual is treated with dignity and respect, and which is free from harassment or other forms of bullying. This policy sets out examples of the type of conduct that may constitute harassment or bullying and Work Better Now’s commitment to eliminating such conduct.

12.2 Harassment

12.2.1  Harassment is defined as any unwanted physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.

12.2.2  Examples of harassment include:

12.2.3  Inappropriate behavior whether in the form of offensive or intimidating

comments or gestures or insensitive jokes or pranks,

12.2.4  The sending or displaying of material that is, for example, racist or sexist or that some individuals or groups may find offensive (including e-mails, text messages, video clips and photographs taken or sent using mobile phones or via the internet);

12.2.5  Ignoring or shunning a worker, for example, by deliberately excluding them from a conversation or a workplace social activity; and

12.2.6  Spreading malicious rumors or insulting someone by word or behavior.

12.3 Bullying

12.3.1  Bullying may be characterized as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior, an abuse or misuse of power, through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate, or injure the recipient. Power includes both personal strength and the power to coerce others through fear or intimidation. Bullying is often a form of harassment and can undermine an individual’s self- confidence, competence, and self-esteem. As with harassment, bullying can take the form of physical, verbal, and non-verbal conduct.

12.3.2  Legitimate and constructive criticism of an individual’s performance or behavior, or reasonable requests made of an individual in the course of their employment will not constitute bullying.

12.3.3  In coming to a decision on whether bullying and harassment has actually taken place, the defining principle is whether the behavior was unacceptable by reasonable, normal standards and is disadvantageous or unwelcome to the person subjected to it.

13. Complaints Procedure

13.1  It is important that any issues are resolved as quickly and as fairly as possible to maintain good working relationships. In most cases this can be done on an entirely informal basis.

13.2  However, there are occasions when a more formal approach may be necessary. Staff and VAs should use Work Better Now’s Grievance Policy and Procedure for this purpose.

13.3  All complaints made under this procedure will be treated seriously and with discretion. The proceedings and records of any complaint will be kept as confidential as possible, but individuals must appreciate that complaints cannot always be formally investigated on an entirely confidential basis. This is because complaints must be investigated fairly and, in most cases, the alleged harasser has a right to know who the complainant is and to have full details of the complaint they face so they can defend themselves. Work Better Now will always ask a complainant for their consent before disclosing any information which might identify them to a third party, under this procedure.

13.5  Work Better Now will make every effort to protect its VAs and staff from harassment, victimization or discrimination for making a complaint or assisting in an investigation. Any acts of retaliation or intimidation against a staff or VA will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

13.6  Staff and VAs will not be subjected to any future unfair treatment on the basis that they have made a complaint or assisted in an investigation under this procedure irrespective of the outcome.

13.7  However, staff and VAs should be aware that complaints of discrimination, harassment, or victimization maliciously which are not made in good faith, will be the subject of disciplinary action.

 

Work Better Now| Policies and procedures

Date Created: June 2022

Last Updated: May 2023

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